Nigeria Open 2018: Quadri, Toriola advance to last 16

Nigeria Open 2018: Quadri, Toriola advance to last 16

Aruna Quadri and compatriot, Segun Toriola advanced to the quarter finals on Friday as they continue to fly Nigeria’s flag at the ongoing International Table Tennis championship.

Quadri, who arrived the country less than 24 hours before his match, started the day with a victory in straight sets over Italy’s Amato Antonio, who he defeated 4-0 in the round of 64,

Thereafter, the world number 18 needed five sets in his second game of the day to see off Egypt’s Assar Khalid in the round of 32.

Quadri took a two set lead, before dropping the next set as Khalid fought back to take the third 12-10.

The top seed bounced back to take a 3-1 lead, taking the fourth set before Khalid pushed the Nigerian to his limit in a keenly contested fifth set.

Quadri’s experience came to the fore, with the home fans cheering him on as he held his nerves to beat the Egyptian 17-15 for a 4-1 win, booking his place in the quarter final.

Elsewhere, it was also an easy win for Toriola, who defeated China’s Wang Xinyang 4-2 in the round of 32.

The veteran came from a set down, after Xinyang took the first 13-11. Xinyang went 2-1 up, but Toriola comfortably took the next three sets to  move into the next round.

In the round of 32, it was a less difficult match for Toriola, as he saw off his South African opposition, Lingeveldt Kurt, 4-0 to join Quadri in the quarter finals.

It was not a smooth sail for Nigeria though, as there was a high profile casualty in the men’s category.

One of the nation’s hopes at the ongoing ITTF Challenge Open, the highly rated Omotayo Olajide failed to make it past the round of 64.

Omotayo lost 4-2 in a absorbing encounter against Helmy Mahmoud of Egypt, who came from two sets down to win 11-8, 11-9, 6-11, 9-11, 3-11, 2-11.

Meanwhile, in the female category, the duo of Oshonaike Olufunke and Akpan Cecilia kept Nigeria’s hope of a medal
alive.

Ten Nigerian ladies began the day hoping to book a place in the last 16, but only Oshonaike and Cecilia won their games.

Oshonaike saw off Mauritius’s Ho Wau Kau Elodie 4-0, while Cecilia defeated Jalim Nandeshwaree, also of Mauritius, 4-1 to book their respective places.

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